Do you sometimes feel sluggish at work? I definitely have those moments. I thought that incorporating exercise into my daily routine would help with those moments. Theoretically, I thought I that I could avoid the afternoon slump if I exercised every day. Being a post-grad newbie to the 9 to 5 workforce, I decided to try what I could to increase my happiness during work. It was hard to keep up and often times, I’d skip a day or two… or three. But I did notice that I had more energy. So to combat my “laziness” and bad habits, I began to tinker with when I exercised. At first, I exercised as soon as I got home – but then I realized that I was way less likely to work out if my day was stressful. Even though I knew exercise could be therapeutic, it was still a mental struggle. Then I made the decision to set my morning alarm to an earlier time in hopes that I would have enough time to go for a nice morning run. I did this for a while consistently and it worked well for me. It was like a fresh cup of coffee that my body brewed every morning.
It was great going through my day on this newfound body high, but I found myself getting hungrier. I ate a well-balanced salad for lunch every day, but I wasn’t too careful with the other meals and snacks I consumed. Once I really cleaned up my act, I felt unstoppable. Unfortunately, the momentum died out after a couple of months.
So what’s the point of me telling you about this? To show you that even a determined individual such as myself can and will struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A lot of us go to work for most of the day and have little time to complete all of the things we need and want to do, even if our health depends on it. Since we spend so much of our time at work, we should look at how we can transform the work environment to sustain both the happiness of the individual and the success of the company as a whole. Happy, healthy people work harder with more accuracy. It’s nice to see that companies are starting to understand this and are moving in a positive direction.
Jennifer Walton was a patient of Pedram Shojai and over time we had the opportunity to learn more and more about her life outside of the clinic. Pedram found her work to be so interesting that we had to get her on an interview for Well.org! Jennifer is a project director at H. Hendy Associates. She talks about designing work spaces for the 21st century and how to encourage maximum employee efficiency. How can changes in office design such as, letting in more natural light or creating more shared community space, change the employee’s mindset and make them happier and more efficient in the workplace?